It’s funny what a gold statue can do. “The Descendants” screenwriters Jim Rash and Nat Faxon have had their screenplay “The Way, Way Back” stuck in development for years, with it finally surfacing late last year. Now that the duo has won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, however, “The Way, Way Back” is moving forward quickly with Steve Carell and Toni Collette cast as the leads.
Originally set for director Shawn Levy (“Real Steel“) in 2007, “The Way, Way Back” was first delayed by the WGA strike of that year and was stuck in limbo until producer Kevin Walsh salvaged it last year. The script follows a teenage boy who, over the course of a summer vacation, strikes up a friendship that gives him the courage to stand up to his carousing, boozing stepfather and reconnect with his mother. With Rash and Faxon ready to make their directorial debut on the project, Variety reports that Carell will play the stepdad, while Collette will play the mother.
It’s smart casting, even if the material sounds a bit heavier than what Carell has been up to lately. Still, the former “The Office” star is more than capable of handling dramatic material as he showed with”Little Miss Sunshine,” which also featured Collette. Plus, with Rash and Faxon on board we’re sure that there will be plenty of light moments and watching Carell play the cad has great potential. Meanwhile, Collette, who is solid in just about everything she does, sounds like a great choice, and, while her role is lacking in details at the moment, we’re sure it has more meat on its bones than just the average “mother” role.
The supporting cast of “The Way, Way Back” is rounding out into a great ensemble including Allison Janney (“Juno“), Sam Rockwell (“Moon“) and AnnaSophia Robb (“Soul Surfer,” “The Bridge to Terabithia“). Production begins this summer.